God’s Church – Built for the Storm -the Battle – The Destination

The church is something we may often take for granted. Maybe we grew up sleeping on the pews and know every detail of every member’s life. The church may have become so commonplace to us that it is easy to forget that the church was not man’s idea. She is not some social club we somehow qualify to belong to. The church is something far grander than her four walls hint at or the attendance rolls reflect. January 2012 225

God’s church is more than a cruise ship built for sailing to exotic destinations.

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God’s church is more than a tiny sailboat designed for calm and sunny days.

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God’s church is not just a ship in a bottle meant to be put on display and admired.

God;s church is a mighty ark of safety, whose designer and builder has planned for any storm, for every foe, and to arrive at the destination which He has chosen – guided only by His hand.

    …upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. Matthew 16:18

Here Comes the Bride

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We went to a sweet wedding recently. The couple had a simple ceremony outdoors in a park. Though the surroundings were beautiful the greatest loveliness lay in the love that the bride and groom offered one another. First, the bride spoke about how her bridegroom had lifted her up and given her wings to fly. He was her lover, her companion and her best friend.

After she had finished her open love letter, the best man came up and handed a small acoustic guitar to the bridegroom. He awkwardly grasped it in his large hands then fell to one knee and sang a song he had written just for her.

Today, just like our that touching moment, Jesus is waiting for His people, at the altar of heaven. He has paid the full price for His bride and he waits anxiously for the music to begin to play and for that time when he will be united with her forever!

The bride belongs to the bridegroom. The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him, and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom’s voice. That joy is mine, and it is now complete. John 3:29

God’s Spotless Church

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He did this to present her to himself as a glorious church without a spot or wrinkle or any other blemish. Instead, she will be holy and without fault. Ephesians 5:27

We were looking at the Bible picture of this church at prayer meeting last night and the question came up as to just who this perfect church might be. Is there such a thing as an imperfect church – and if so- what will happen when the Lord Jesus returns?

God is not at all afraid of our questions, in fact without a question, there will never be an answer. In my brief stint as a teacher I came to the conclusion that in fact there is such a thing as a stupid question: that is the question that is asked when the questioner doesn’t want to know the answer. (Not that I could say that in class!) God loves for us to ask so here is my question today:

Can there ever be a church that is holy and without fault in this world?

In that case back the question up a half a step and ask, “Can I ever become holy and without fault in this world?” Because as believers in Jesus Christ we are considered members of His body: The Church. If there is a single imperfect member, then there can not be a perfect church. So then, in light of the statement of Paul, that he did not consider himself to be perfect and that even the other apostles including Peter had struggles, conflicts and doubts, how are we ever going to get to the place where we are pure enough for Christ to claim us as His bride?  KIMG0601

There are times when we use the phrase “He has fallen from grace” or “I feel like I’ve fallen away from God’s grace”. But the Bible doesn’t say that when we sin, we fall from grace.

You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace. Galatians 5:4

It all comes back to the blood. It all comes back to faith. When I first became a Christian we used to sing a camp meeting song that I still love titled “Are You Washed?”.

Have you been to Jesus for the cleansing power

Are You washed in the blood of the Lamb

Are you fully trusting in His grace this hour?

                    Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?

Elisha Hoffman

So whether you attend the largest church in your city or if you are a member of a little country chapel, it all comes down to faith. Not faith in our best efforts, in our religious affiliation or the accolades of our friends. The only spotless thing in all God’s universe is the Blood of Jesus Christ! Your were paid for and washed only by the blood!

But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.1 Peter 1:19

Looking to Heaven… Again

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As they stoned him, Stephen prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” He fell to his knees, shouting, “Lord, don’t charge them with this sin!” And with that, he died. Acts 7:59-60

Dedicated to those killed today as the worshipped at All Saints Church in Pakistan

Pray for our Christian Brothers in Pakistan

Nepal and India 276Pray for our Christian Brothers in Pakistan

While we enjoy peace and acceptance here in the west our brothers and sisters in many countries are suffering relentless persecution. In the words of C S Lewis, “You’re a family aren’t you? Maybe it’s time you started acting like one!”

As one family in Christ the least we can do is pray.